The term of three Muslim members of Rajya Sabha’s BJP will end next July. After that, the BJP will become the only party in India that has power but has no Muslim members in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on its side. The issue of representation in Indian democracy may be disturbing, but it does not bother the BJP. Proof of this is that the BJP did not nominate any Muslim candidate for Rajya Sabha’s recently concluded elections.
Electoral analysts point out that from the beginning, the BJP has pursued the policy of Muslim alienation and protest by keeping Muslims at the center. Votes have been collected keeping Muslims ahead. Therefore, this strategy has also been adopted which does not give inputs to the Muslims of his party. Everyone knows that Muslim candidates do not receive tickets from the BJP in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
When the question is asked to the BJP why does it not give tickets to the Muslim community? So she responds that the decision to give the ticket is also made by looking at the ability to win. That is, due to the gain factor, BJP does not give tickets to Muslims. But even after that, the BJP has adopted this strategy that through the Rajya Sabha, Muslims were symbolically sent to Parliament. From Sikandar Bakht to Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the BJP had sent them to the Rajya Sabha. But now this strategy has also been completely abandoned. This time no Muslim has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
On the question of Muslim representation, the answer of the current BJP is: BJP is a party of “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas”. It is not a party of any caste or religion. The Constitution of India does not speak of electoral representation on the basis of caste and religion. Therefore, there is no obligation to give tickets to Muslims. BJP is a party with everyone and development for everyone. The meaning of “Sabke Saath” is that it also includes the support of Muslims.
We understand, therefore, the debate related to the representation of Muslims in Parliament today.
Representation, that is, participation in Parliament means that if India is a country that brings together many communities, then they should all participate in Parliament. According to their population, they should participate in the work of legislation. This is an ideal situation. This is impossible, but if even the weakest part of society is becoming a participant in the functioning of the legislation of a democracy, that democracy is said to function effectively.
Broadly speaking, the point is that if there is representation from the weaker sections, only the decision group will be sensitive to the weaker sections. But when the party line is added to this whole principle, then the whole question of representation is lost. The weakest sectors may be represented by the party line, but everyone does what the party says. Representation of Muslims in the BJP has never been a vocal representation of Muslim problems. Therefore, the point is that participation only on the basis of figures does not make a difference. It is also important that what is the nature of the represented? What does it say? What are you talking about Which side do you take?
Society and culture analyst Chandan Srivastava says there have been many changes in the issue of post-independence representation and the issue of post-independence representation in 2014. The issue of post-independence representation was related to the sectors. marginalized. There was a feeling that marginalized communities should be represented in the decision-making space. Whoever belongs to the weaker section like the programmed caste, tribe, woman, poor, Muslim, etc., their participation in the place of legislation like Parliament and Legislative Assembly should increase. Not the articles of the Constitution, but the basic spirit, principles and ideals of the Constitution say that India should not be an unequal society but an egalitarian society. But after 2014, the issue of representation has completely changed. There is talk of Hindu representation. The talk of representation of other backward classes, programmed castes, programmed tribes is said aloud, but when the question of Muslim representation is raised, everyone is silent. Muslim representation has been completely neutralized. The BJP has already completely distanced itself from Muslims and is weaving its policy around anti-Muslims. But apart from the BJP, the other major parties are also trying to play on the field of Hindutva. The atmosphere created by the BJP is so dangerous that all parties feel that Muslims do not have the winning factor. If he is shown closer to Muslims, his vote will be reduced.
CSDS scholar Hilal Ahmed writes that on the issue of representation, BJP talks about Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas. Keeping the constitution going, he says that instead of the constitution there is talk of representation by religion and caste. I call Hindu constitutionalism the methods of reading the Constitution in this way. Where the interpretation of the constitution is made in a way that is no different from the idea of Hindutva. On the issue of representation, to say that the Constitution does not speak of representation in legislation on the basis of religion and caste is too legal an argument. When an argument like this is made, the intention behind it is to ignore the core values on which the Constitution is built. Those morals, principles and ideals that are the soul of the Constitution must be abandoned. It is absolutely true that the Constitution attaches importance to secularism in the question of political representation. But the provisions relating to the representation of programmed tribes, programmed castes and linguistic minorities also state that the Constitution attaches importance to the question of the representation of the weaker sectors on the path from inequality to equality.
Hilal Ahmed writes that if not through the Lok Sabha, at least through the Rajya Sabha, Muslim representatives were sent. But due to the rise of the BJP and the defeat of the other party, now this space has also started to shrink. Currently, the representation of Muslims in the Rajya Sabha is around 6%. This is the lowest representation since independence.
Under the first-step system, parties that make electoral policy by forming an alliance with Muslims are also not able to have more impact than before. In Gujarat, efforts are being made to make policy by creating an equation of Kshatriya, Harijans, Adivasis and Muslims, which has also been weakened, while in Uttar Pradesh the equation of Muslim Yadavs is also broken compared to previous ones. This is also the reason why the representation of Muslims has decreased a lot compared to before.
The vision of the BJP is clearly visible. He does not want a Muslim representative in Parliament. He does Hindu politics by imposing Muslim influencers on the media. It will settle any Muslim face that justifies the policy of the BJP and the work of the BJP will continue. There is not much debate about the representation of the Muslim community in other parties as well. Representation of the Muslim community is very important. But it should also be noted here that Muslims are not the same community as the community. There are many types of segregation even within the Muslim community. We need to go to the decision-making positions of the most vulnerable sectors within this segregation. This is only possible when efforts are made to address these issues within political parties.